Millennials absorb Facebook ads faster than other users… How does this affect your advertising efforts?

Gone are the days of the ‘three-second’ rule in advertising, as research has shown that teenagers are able to consume ads in their Facebook newsfeeds two and a half times faster than their older counterparts.

According to Graham Mudd, Director of Ad Product Marketing at Facebook, younger users are able to recall marketing messages even after only glancing at an ad for under three seconds.

Perhaps this isn’t surprising however, as we’re referring to a generation that has been brought up on the scrolling, swiping and tapping-nature of portable digital technology. They’re highly advanced users.

So where does this leave us as marketers? How do we know if our advertising content is effective? How does Facebook know if an ad is effective or not?

Facebook has algorithms for working this information out but essentially, it comes down to how fast people normally scroll on their phones, how long they hover over an ad and what their normal dwell time is.

“We’ve been studying this phenomenon of time spent on ads and the impact on how well an ad campaign works for a long time,” Mudd explained during an interview at Advertising Week.

Do we now need to worry about how many seconds our ads are being played for by users?

The short answer is no. Facebook’s formula ensures that your message gets out to the right people by monitoring user behaviour, interaction and, yes believe it or not, scroll-speed.

Regardless of whether your target users are fast or slow-scrollers, Facebook’s algorithm is able to determine when a particular user spends more than the usual time with certain ads and consequently helps to establish the sorts of marketing and products they are likely to engage with in the future.